Sadiya has a quiet confidence that I admire. She also has one of the prettiest smiles underneath the coolest afro that I have EVER seen. Our doll on display for the month of November is a woman of purpose, serving our community in a unique and very needed way! Read on!
1. Where do you live and what do you do? I live in Tampa, FL and I work at a non-profit, drug abuse rehabilitation facility. I work in the HIV department teaching about HIV prevention in terms of sexual practices and drug use. I also do HIV testing as well as stay on top of the clients to make sure that everyone is seeing their doctor at least once a year.
2. What were your family’s reaction to you going natural? My dad wasn’t too interested about it, as long as I still looked like a nice young lady. My mom was hesitant at first, because she was worried about my hair being short. “A woman’s hair is part of her beauty” she told me. She also worried that I wouldn’t take care of it. (I’m not known for wanting to invest lots of time in my hair!) I tell myself, it’s not that I’m lazy, just laid-back and understated. Eventually though, I convinced my mom to be the one to give me my big chop!
3. What is one hair product that you cannot do without? My hair absolutely loves Lutrasilk Shea Butter Cholesterol. It’s ridiculous because this stuff is SO CHEAP but it literally works wonders in my hair. I use it sparingly as a leave-in.
4. Do you have any hair wisdom you’d like to share with other natural beauties? I will have to go with a quote from my cousin: “Just let your hair do its thing.” In other words, don’t fight with your hair. If it wants to be big and noticeable, let it be big and noticeable. Don’t hide from it. If your hair wants to be curly, don’t argue with it. As long as you keep yourself looking put together and carry yourself with dignity, you can pull off any hair style you want.
5. What is your original hair regimen? My regimen is to use some mild and natural shampoos, such as Hask Placenta Shampoo with Olive Oil. I usually wash twice, and then condition with Creme of Nature Chamomile and Comfrey Healing Conditioner. The shampoo/conditoner choice is not as important as the Lutrasilk with Shea Butter that I apply to my hair after it has been washed. I use just a little bit and rub it through my hair while it is still wet to define my curls and make my hair SUPER SOFT and shiny. At most, I have just wrung out my hair, but certainly not towel dried it. Also, I only comb or brush my hair while there is conditioner in it in the shower, or right after I apply the Lutrasilk. Because this product makes my hair so manageable, I think it has contributed to my hair growth and minimized the hair damage over the past year. Occasionally, if I am doing twists, I also apply coconut oil to hair while I twist it, just to keep it shiny and in place. I don’t use coconut oil all the time, though, because it can make my scalp itchy after a 4 days or so.
Word of warning: I AVOID Pantene products (sorry Pantene!). Even the shampoo made “for women of color” dries leaves my hair unbelievably dry.
6. What made you decide to go natural? Honestly, my cousin had been natural for years but I never gave much thought to it. I was too busy thinking about college classes and exams to worry about hairstyle. Letting my mom give me a perm every 8 weeks was easier for me, even though I didn’t take care of my hair like I should have (by setting it in rollers, etc.). All I ever did was pull it back in a ponytail. One day, just before I graduated, I woke up and thought “bump that” and I just decided I wasn’t going to perm my hair anymore. For one thing, my hair was so dead and damaged. For another, I absolutely DETEST putting rollers in my hair, sitting under the hot dryer so long that my bum is hurting, and having to worry about new growth every 8 weeks (although for me it was more like 10-12 weeks…) Not to mention the fact that I wanted to embrace my blackness and stop fighting with my hair. It was my good friend Priscilla from work who inspired me to do the big chop as early as I did (about 7 months after new growth). I figured, when will I have another chance to have my hair this short? So I went for it, and it was magnificent. My big chop was in Thanksgiving 2009, and I have loved my fro ever since. Although I do have to take care of it more consistently, the process is a lot more fun and I have the freedom to play and experiment on my natural hair. I don’t have to depend on chemicals or other people anymore. I guess you could say that we get along now.
7. Who do you look up to for hair inspiration if anyone? I look up to my friend Priscilla who inspired me with her all natural vegan, organic, natural hair lifestyle. I also look up to one of her idols, a young lady on the youtube channel “Kimmaytube.” She has an amazing wealth of knowledge and it shows in her consistent hair growth. Plus, she’s creative and helps me find styles that don’t take hours to do.